External Credits for Incoming Students

Incoming students may transfer approved credit towards their degree based on exam scores and courses previously completed at different institutions.

Exam Credits

Students may be able to fulfill some degree requirements based on their scores from Advanced Placement (AP), Higher Level International Baccalaureate (IB), or General Certificate of Education (GCE) A-Level exams. Some foreign certificate exams may also be accepted. Exam credits are not accepted for all subjects. The e-catalogue maintains a detailed exam credit list of accepted exams, required scores, and the JHU course equivalency.

Students should plan to transfer exam credits upon matriculation, but they can be transferred later if needed. Exam credit transfers will follow the policies that were in place the year the student matriculated.

Knowing that you can use your credit for certain required courses does not automatically mean you should accept the credit. There may be circumstances where you may want to take certain courses at Hopkins even though you have credit from exam scores. For example, calculus is central to all the engineering and computer science majors, and it may benefit you to take Calculus I or II at Hopkins even if you have credit from high school. You might also like a review or an easier class as you are adjusting to college life. On the other hand, if you feel like you have mastered the material and want to go forward to the next course, then accept the credit and take the next course. Please talk with your assigned professional academic advisor or academic advisor/success coach about your options.

How to transfer exam credits

Submission Instructions

For AP and IB exams, follow the instructions from the testing body to submit an official score report to Johns Hopkins University. AP Score reports are sent electronically and are usually posted to SIS within a week or so of being received by the Registrar. IB score reports take a little longer to post. Please note that score reports must come officially from the testing organization; notations on your high school transcripts are not accepted.

For GCE or foreign certificate exams, contact your advisor.

Once received, exam credits will be visible in SIS. Log in to SIS, then select Registration → My Grades → External Course Summary. If you do not see some or all of your scores in SIS, first contact your testing organization and verify that all scores were sent. If your testing organization confirms that all scores were sent to the university, yet you do not see them posted in SIS, contact your professional academic advisor.

Exam Credits vs. Placement Exam Waivers

There is a very important distinction between exam credits and placement exam waivers. Receiving credit from an acceptable score on an AP, IB, or GCE exam means that those credits are part of your Hopkins academic record. JHU placement exams do not grant credit, even if your score recommends you begin at a higher level than your transferrable credit. If you choose to begin at the higher level, the previous level is waived. No credit is awarded for a course that is waived. Depending on credit requirements for your major, you may have to take additional credits at a higher level if you waive a lower-level course.

For example, the Math Department’s placement exam recommends you begin with Calculus II but you do not have credit for Calculus I based on an exam or other transfer credit. If you choose to begin with Calculus II, your Hopkins transcript will say Calculus I waived and have zero credits awarded for Calculus I.

Transfer Credits

Hopkins undergraduates are permitted to transfer credits to apply to their undergraduate degree. Prior to getting courses evaluated for possible transfer credits, students are strongly encouraged to speak with their assigned professional academic advisor.

Transfer course evaluation can take time. Therefore, transfer course evaluations will likely not be completed prior to the registration date. If students have concerns about transfer course evaluation and registration, they should seek guidance from their assigned professional academic advisor.

Transfer Credit Limits

Students who enter Johns Hopkins University from high school are permitted to transfer a maximum of 12 credits. This includes courses taken pre-matriculation as well as courses taken post-matriculation.

Students who transfer from another institution may transfer a maximum of 60-68 credits (depending on the program). To meet the residency requirement, transfer students must complete at least 60 credits in residence at JHU.

Transfer credit maximums do not include AP/IB/GCE exam credits for any students, regardless of whether they enter directly from high school or transfer from another institution.

Transfer Credit Requirements

  • Transfer courses must be taken for a letter grade. Pass/Fail or Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory grades are not transferrable unless the host institution states in writing that the mark represents a grade of C or better.
  • Only courses with a grade of C or better will be transferred. The transfer course grades will not be factored into your JHU grade point average (GPA).
  • Credits will be transferred in the amount offered at the host institution Quarter units are converted to equivalent semester credits. If the credits differ, you need to discuss any implications this may have on your degree completion with your professional academic advisor.

Full transfer credit requirements are listed in the e-catalogue. Students who wish to get courses evaluated as writing intensive will also follow additional writing intensive guidlines.

How to request post-approval to transfer credits

Submission Instructions

  1. Log in to SIS, then select Registration → Online Forms → External Course Request Form from the menu.
  2. Complete the form with the following information:
    • Name, JHU Email, and six-character Hopkins ID
    • Host institution’s name
    • Course name at the host institution (i.e., Introduction to Psychology) *
    • Course number at the host institution (i.e., MATH 110)
    • Course credit at the host institution
    • Calendar system at the host institution (i.e., semester, quarter, or unit system)
    • Electronic PDF copy of the course syllabus, which includes topical breakdown, title of the textbook, and learning outcomes. A syllabus that is submitted without the proper information will not be evaluated and delays the transfer credit evaluation process.
  3. Request that an official electronic transcript be sent to [email protected] immediately after the grades have been posted by the host institution. **
* Submitting Multiple Forms

If a student is transferring multiple courses, they are encouraged to submit multiple forms, especially for Math and Chemistry. For example, list:

  • Calculus I, II, III, Linear Algebra, and Differential Equations in one form.
  • General Chemistry and Organic Chemistry in another form.

All others, such as engineering, physics, and humanities/social science courses can be in one form.

** Transcripts

The preferred method for the official transcript to be sent to JHU is electronic. The transcript may be sent by mail if required by the host institution.

Preferred mode, electronic, via email: [email protected] (choose 3rd party)

Mailing address, if needed:
Johns Hopkins University
Office of the Registrar
3400 N. Charles Street
Garland Hall, Suite 75
Baltimore, MD 21218

Writing-Intensive Evaluation

To encourage excellence in writing, across disciplines, the university requires all undergraduates to take a number of writing-intensive courses. Candidates for a B.A. degree in the School of Engineering must complete 12 credits (four courses of at least 3 credits each) of writing-intensive courses, while candidates for a B.S. degree in Engineering must complete 6 credits (two courses of at least 3 credits each) of writing-intensive courses. A writing-intensive (W) course is one in which students complete at least 20 pages of finished writing, distributed over multiple assignments, usually 3 or 4 papers, throughout the semester.

Those who transfer to Johns Hopkins from another college or university, and Hopkins students who study abroad, may transfer writing-intensive credit for a maximum of two courses, under these conditions:

  • The course(s) in question must meet all of the criteria for a writing-intensive course.
  • Students must have earned a B or higher in the course(s).

Additional resources regarding policy on Writing Intensive Credits include the Guidelines for Writing Intensive Credits page in the e-catalogue, as well as the Writing Curriculum on the Writing Program website.

How to request a Writing-Intensive course evaluation (Starting June 1, 2024)

Submission Instructions

  1. Check that the course meets the University criteria for a writing intensive course.
  2. Confirm that the course from your previous institution will transfer to JHU. Follow the instructions to submit the External Course Request form.
  3. For the Writing Intensive evaluation, make sure to have the syllabus that contains relevant information about the writing assignments that were included as part of the class (i.e., assignment sheets, learning outcomes, frequency of assignments, page requirements, peer review, etc.). If the syllabus does not include that information, obtain relevant and supporting documents that will assist with the evaluation to upload to the WSE Writing Intensive Evaluation Request form.
  4. Complete the Writing Intensive Evaluation Request form.